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Trucks: Hornaday wins battle of the ages

Ron Hornaday Jr. proved that age and experience can triumph, as the 53-year-old claimed his 50th series victory over the 21-year-old Truck series sophomore Austin Dillon.
Ron Hornaday Jr. notched up his landmark 50th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in 295 races on Saturday night at a chilly Kentucky Speedway, holding off Austin Dillon to the chequered flag by 0.438s.

"Austin is an up-and-coming star, and at age 53, I beat him," said Hornaday, rejoicing in the triumph of age and experience over youth.

The 21-year-old Dillon had swept the practice and qualifying sessions and looked the man to beat on Saturday evening, but Brian Ickler got the better start and claimed the initial lead, and then after a caution for an accident for Josh Richards in turn 1 on lap 5 it was over to Hornaday to take charge.

A second caution came out on lap 22 for an accident involving Ryan Sieg in turn 3 which allowed for pit stops, allowing Truck rookie and former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to run at the front for the next 20 laps when the third caution came out for a wreck by Clay Greenfield. Timothy Peters took up the lead, but the caution was back out on lap 51 when an accident saw Miguel Paludo spin out and crunch Parker Kligerman against the wall, the two cars then falling into the path of Max Papis who was unable to avoid making contact with them.

Hornaday took the lead at the restart until the next caution for a spin by John King, after which the lead bounced around between Johnny Sauter, Piquet, Dillon and Buescher during two further cautions for spins by Ross Chastain (lap 80) and Brendan Gaughan (lap 87) before finally Dillon took a proper grip on things and led from lap 93 until lap 120.

With the race approaching its climax and cycling through one more round of pit stops the lead changed hands to Hornaday, Piquet and then Todd Bodine on lap 139, with Hornaday opting for four tyres when it was his turn to come in for his final refuelling stop.

Hornaday then led the final 11 laps of the race (for a grand total of 42 out of the 150 during the evening) once Bodine gave up the lead for his final pit stop of the evening. Dillon did his best to try and charge him down but didn't quite have enough to do it before the chequered flag proclaimed the veteran to be the winner.

"We gave 'em hell at the end, but the old man whipped my tail," conceded Dillon good-naturedly afterwards. "I gave it everything I had on those last laps."

"It will mean a lot when I sit on the front porch in the rocking chair with my grandkids and I can tell them that I won 50 races," said a jubilant Hornaday about his landmark achievement.




Related Pictures

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Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrates his 50th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory after winning the Kentucky 225 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.[Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Parker Kligerman is collected by Miguel Paludo, who spins out in Turn 4, bringing out the fourth caution in the Kentucky 225 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. [Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, lead the field into turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished in third place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Cheez-It Ford, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Cheez-It Ford, pits during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 LiftMaster Chevrolet, stands in the garage area with crew members during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Cheerios Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Dillon is 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser PrecisionChevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Truex, Jr. is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.CPL Steven R. Koch, US Army, is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. HM3 James R Layton is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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